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November 2015

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St Patrick’s Primary School, Ballynahinch


November 2015


School Development

It is important that parents are kept informed of our plans for development in the school and we value their involvement in Development Planning. In the 2015/16 school year our main areas of focus are:

  • Continued  Development of non-fiction comprehension
  • Development  of Shape and Space in Using Mathematics
  • Developing  of planning in ICT for Film and Animation, Managing Data and Music and      Sound.
  • Review  of the Positive Behaviour Policy

As part of the Extended Schools programme we are continuing with the ICAN Club, Story Sacks Programme and Reading Partnership programme.

Extended Schools has also enabled us to introduce the Lexia Club and extend our Stay and Play programme for parents of Foundation Stage pupils.

Parents’ views and opinions on the development of our school are greatly valued. Should further information be required on the areas outlined above or should a parent wish to make a suggestion on future areas of development please contact Mr Coulter.

Eco-Schools Committee

It is great to see how keen the children of St Patrick’s are to look after the environment. The children entrusted with promoting Eco-Schools this year are Max McCabe, Abigail Pleasants, Rachel Adams, Toni Rooney, Eoin Tweedie, Patrycja Sokolek, Oliwia Sokelek and Shannon McCann.


Flu Vaccinations

Parents are reminded that the School Nurse will be visiting on Tuesday, 3rd November to administer the Flu Vaccine. Please make every effort to ensure that your child is in school on this day.


GAA Draw

The Annual Down GAA Primary Schools draw has recently been launched. This has been very well supported in the past and we hope that this year will be no different. Tickets will be circulated at the beginning of November so please keep an eye out for them in the children’s school bags.

Please return tickets and money to the school by 11th November.Your support is greatly appreciated as the money raised will go towards the cost of coaches for our school.

Maths at School

Thanks are extended to those KS2 parents who subscribed to the 'Maths for School' website. This website can also be accessed and used at home on Indeed, we would ask that you encourage your child to make the most of this fantastic maths resource.

Literacy Focus 

As part of our development in Non-fiction parents can support their child’s learning by encouraging them to read non-fiction books as well as fiction. Share the books with your child and help with vocabulary which might be unfamiliar to them.

Irish and Spanish Language classes

Our links with Assumption Grammar School continue to grow and we are delighted to have girls from their A-Level class visit our Year 3, 4 and 5 classes to teach Irish and Spanish.

Smoking Policy- Reminder

The Smoking Policy of the school has been reviewed to include e-cigarettes. Smoking or use of e-cigarettes is not permitted on school property.

Earrings during PE

Parents are reminded of school policy that earrings must be removed during PE. Taping over earrings is not acceptable.

Parent Support Group

The PSG have organised a Family Bingo evening in the School Hall on Friday, 27th November beginning at 7.00pm. We hope that everyone will take the time to support their fundraising efforts.

Magheradroll Nursery Open Day

The Nursery Open Day will be on Wednesday, 9th December 2015, beginning 2.00pm. All parents interested in enrolling their child in the nursery for September 2016 are welcome to attend. Nursery applications for places will be available on the day.

Open Day in St Patrick’s

Our Open Day will be on Thursday, 10th December 2015, beginning 2.00pm. All parents interested in enrolling their child in P1 for September 2016 are welcome to attend. Applications for places will be available on the day.

Dropping-off children in the morning

Now that the children have settled into school parents are encouraged to drop their child off in the main school playground and leave as promptly as possible.



Text Message Service

As Winter approaches parents are reminded to provide an up-to-date mobile phone number so that they can receive messages from the school text message service.

School closures information will also be posted on the school Facebook page should severe weather impact on the normal school routines.

Anti-bullying Week

National Anti-Bullying Week runs from 16th - 20th Nov. 2015 and this year’s theme is: 'What Bullying Means to Me’. Parents are asked to take time to talk to their son/daughter about what bullying is and what to do if he/she experiences this. Information on bullying can be found on

Emotional Intelligence

This month the children will focus on the virtue of Goodness. Why not take a little time to talk to your child about what they are learning about this virtue. P7 class will be performing their assembly on the Emotional Intelligence theme on Friday, 20th November 2015 at 9.30am. Parents of children in the P7 class are very welcome to come along.

Halloween Fancy Dress

The children had a great day last Friday and the Halloween Fancy Dress was enjoyed by all. Sincere thanks to everyone who went to such an effort to get dressed up and congratulations to the School Council for organising such a fantastic event.

‘Do This In Memory Of Me’ Programme and First Communion.

The ‘Do This In Memory’ meeting for parents of children preparing for First Confession and First Communion takes place in the Parish Centre on Thursday, 12th November 2015 at 7pm. All parents are expected to attend. The first Mass of the programme for P4 children and their families take place on Saturday, 28th November in St Patrick’s Church at 6.00pm.

Book Fair

The book fair held in the school recently was very successful and thanks are extended to the children and parents for their support. As well as being an opportunity to promote reading we also received commission of £840.00 which will be used to purchase books to supplement the reading materials in each class.

Attendance and Reporting Absence

Help us to help your child in their learning by ensuring that they have punctual and regular attendance. Please avoid taking holidays during school time as they impact greatly on the child’s learning and also on the rest of the class.

Parents are reminded that they should inform the school in writing of the reason for their child’s absence from school. Whilst a phone on the morning of the absence is appreciated it is important that we have a written note for our records.

After-schools Clubs

The After-schools programme for November and December will be finalised shortly. We are hoping to introduce Jujitsu and Dance in the near future.

Should your child attend any of these activities it would be greatly appreciated if you could reinforce the importance of good behaviour in the after-schools clubs.

Head lice

Remember, ‘Once a week, take a peek!’ - Regularly check your child’s head for head lice! For more information go to


Important Dates

  • Do This In Memory meeting and Mass      – 12th and 28th November in St Patrick’s Church.
  • First Communion – 4th      June 2015 in St Patrick’s Church, Ballynahinch at 10.30am.
  • Confirmation – 13th May      2015 in St Patrick’s Church, Ballynahinch at 6.00pm